CM: Sustainability of resources, R&D among factors behind success of NTFP
Posted on : 15 Aug 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Len Talif (second left) takes a closer look at some of the NTFPs during the launch of the carnival. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sustainability of resources, promotion, marketing as well as research and development are among the factors which contribute to the success of non-timber forest products (NTFP), according to Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Chief Minister said the Sarawak Forest Department (SFD) is implementing various NTFP development programmes, particularly in capacity building, with the aim of enhancing the capabilities and skills of communities involved in the production of NTFP.

“These communities participate in courses and workshops to ensure that their NTFP products are capable of meeting the standard and market needs.

“In addition, enrichment planting for NTFP species have also been conducted to make sure that resources are not depleted for future use,” he said.

Abang Johari’s text-of-speech read by Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh who officiated on behalf of the chief minister at the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Carnival Sarawak 2019 at Kuching Waterfront yesterday.

He said NTFPs are found in many types of forests, from mangrove and peat swamp forest in the coasts to mixed dipterocarp forest and alluvial forest in the interiors.

“‘Ketiau’ oil from the fruits of ‘nyatoh’ tree (Madhuca motleyi) and ‘engkabang’ butter or ‘green butter’ from the fruits of ‘engkabang jantong’ tree (Shorea macrophylla) are also some of the valuable but seasonable NTFPs that be found from our forests.

“Ketiau oil in the local market can fetch up to RM500 for 650ml while engkabang butter costs around RM350 per kilogramme – both can generate high income to the communities who produce these products,” he said.

Abang Johari added that these products also received demand from neighbouring countries such as Brunei, and can potentially be developed and marketed in a bigger scale through extensive marketing networks.

In view of this, he suggested that e-commerce marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada or even Facebook be explored and used as one of the marketing channels to expand NTFP promotion and markets.

“For instance, Shopee and Facebook have been used by locals to sell ketiau oil with a selling price between RM25 to RM40 for 25ml while engkabang butter can also be purchased with prices ranging from RM15 to RM60 for 100gm to 150gm.

“These online marketplaces provide a convenient and effective way for the people to sell their products, increase their sales and income.”

He also noted that in line with the carnival’s theme of ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’, promotion and marketing have been further enhanced by expanding networks to international level.

“This fourth edition of the carnival involves participation not only from local communities and agencies but also international organisations from various countries such as Indonesia, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines to showcase their respective NTFP products.

“The participation from both local and international agencies can help to intensify and expand NTFP markets to higher level and at the same time, promote Sarawak’s NTFP to the world,” he remarked.

The chief minister also hoped to see more participation from government and non-governmental agencies as well as the private sector and international organisations, to continuously support and collaborate in the development, promotion and marketing of NTFP products.

Also present were SFD director Hamden Mohammad, Urban Development and Natural Resources Ministry permanent secretary Wan Lizozman Wan Omar and Beting Maro assemblyman Razaili Gapor.